03
Aug 17

CIO Insight – Two-Speed IT: Juggling Competing Agendas (Part 1)

How can IT leaders juggle seemingly competing agendas: to meet the business’ demands for increased innovation, while cutting costs and slashing budgets?

With the ever-increasing interest in technology solutions, IT’s stakeholders are giving them two competing demands:
1. Produce new innovative, strategic technology-based capabilities.
2. Do so with reduced resources.

How can IT leaders step up to the plate and juggle these seemingly competing agendas: to meet the business’ demands for increased innovation, including new digital systems and services, all while cutting costs and slashing budgets?

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One popular solution has emerged within IT thought leadership. Often called “two-speed IT,” this idea proposes that the IT organization does not attempt to resolve the tension between these two ideas. Instead, IT lumps all of its technology into one of two broad buckets: operational technology and innovative technology. Do this, and operations won’t slow down innovation, and expensive innovation investments won’t inflate operations’ budgets.

More of the CIO Insight post from Lee Reese


27
Jul 17

SearchDataCenter – Distributed data centers boost resiliency, but IT hurdles remain

Distributed data center architectures increase IT resiliency compared to traditional single-site models, with networking, data integrity and other factors all playing critical roles.

Architectures that span distributed data centers can reduce the risk of outages, but enterprises still must take necessary steps to ensure IT resiliency.

Major data center outages continue to affect organizations and users worldwide, most recently and prominently at Verizon, Amazon Web Services, Delta and United Airlines. Whether it’s an airline or cloud provider that suffers a technical breakdown, its bottom line and reputation can suffer.

More of the SearchDataCenter article from Tim Culverhouse


26
Jul 17

ZDNet – Overspending in the cloud: lessons learned

One of the reasons virtualization (the precursor to cloud computing) gained popularity in the early 2000s is that companies had too many servers running at low utilization. The prevailing wisdom was that every box needed a backup and under-utilization was better than maxing out compute capacity and risking overload.

The vast amounts of energy and money wasted on maintaining all this hardware finally led businesses to datacenter consolidation via virtual machines, and those virtual machines began migrating off-premises to various clouds.

The problem is, old habits die hard. And the same kinds of server sprawl that plagued physical datacenters 15 years ago are now appearing in cloud deployments, too.

More of the ZDNet article from Michael Steinhart


20
Jul 17

HBR – The Board Directors You Need for a Digital Transformation

When the term digital transformation was first bandied about by consultants and business publications, its implications were more about keeping up and catching up than true transformation. Additionally, at first it was only applied to large, traditional organizations struggling, or experimenting, in an increasingly digital economy. But true digital transformation requires so much more. As evidenced by the recent Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods, we’re living in a new world.

Early transformation efforts were focused on initiatives: e-commerce, sensors/internet of things, applications, client and customer experience, and so on. Increasingly, our clients are coming to us as they realize that in order for these disparate initiatives to thrive, they need to undergo an end-to-end transformation, the success of which demands dramatic operational, structural, and cultural shifts.

More of the HBR post from Tuck Rickards and Rhys Grossman


18
Jul 17

Technative – Why Microsoft’s Azure Stack is a game changer for hybrid IT

Could Microsoft’s not-so secret weapon get the edge on AWS?

The promise of the cloud is based on offloading processing and other data management tasks to offsite locations, but businesses of all sizes are gradually coming to realise that they’re better off running certain applications internally.

Microsoft are hoping Azure Stack will bridge this gap, giving Azure users the ability to run Azure consistent services in their own data centers. “Azure Stack will be a game changer in terms of how we run our data centres” predicts Mark Skelton, Head of Consultancy at OCSL, a Microsoft-friendly IT service provider. He adds:

It effectively creates Nirvana; one place to code, one place to develop and one platform to build upon.

Here are a few reasons why Azure Stack is in huge demand before it’s release.

More of the Technative post


17
Jul 17

IT Business Edge – Multi-Cloud Software: Trading One Dependency for Another?

Having a multi-cloud strategy these days is like having a multi-server strategy in ages past: Why trust your workloads to a single point of failure when you can move them about at will?

But while distributing resources over multiple points fosters redundancy and eliminates vendor lock-in on one level, the enterprise should be aware that this invariable pushes these same risks to another.

It’s no surprise that upwards of 85 percent of organizations have implemented a multi-cloud strategy by now, says Datacenter Journal’s Kevin Liebl. Following major outages at AWS and Azure earlier this year, the vulnerabilities of placing all data in one basket have become clear. Using multiple clouds provides clear advantages for disaster recovery, data migration, workload optimization, and a host of other functions.

More of the IT Business Edge post from Arthur Cole


12
Jul 17

Arthur Cole – When the Cloud Becomes Just Normal Infrastructure

Strange as it may seem, the cloud only holds about a fifth of the total enterprise workload, which means there is still time for the enterprise to suddenly decide that the risks are not worth the rewards and start pulling data and applications back to legacy infrastructure.

Unlikely as this is, it nonetheless points out the fact that there are still many unknowns when it comes to the cloud, particularly its ability to provide the lion’s share of data infrastructure in ways that are both cheaper and more amenable to enterprise objectives.

According to Morgan Stanley’s Brian Nowak, the cloud is nearing an inflection point at which it should start to show accelerated growth into the next decade.

More of the IT Business Edge post from Arthur Cole


05
Jul 17

IT Business Edge – Over 70 Percent of IoT Efforts Are Failing: The Fix Seems Surprisingly Easy

Cisco is generally credited with driving the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT), even though it was Carnegie Mellon back in 1982 that first conceptualized the idea. I’m still at Cisco’s big analyst event this week and was fascinated by a survey shared on stage. Apparently, 74 percent of the survey’s respondents have indicated that their IoT efforts have been going really badly, either not finishing or not finishing within expectations. In addition, these same folks are indicating that about half their time is spent on troubleshooting problems. Cisco connects the latter to complexity. Given that there really is nothing as complex as a typical IoT effort, I see the two stats as related and suggest that IoT efforts are poorly planned, which is why they aren’t completing as expected and likely adding to the complexity problems overwhelming IT organizations.

Now, Cisco is positioning its Network Intuitive efforts at this problem and certainly massive automation can reduce the amount of work, particularly with regard to often repetitive troubleshooting efforts. However, with the IoT in particular, really understanding the problem you are trying to solve and simplifying the effort at the front end would likely have an even bigger initial positive impact.

More of the IT Business Edge article from Rob Enderle


14
Jun 17

ZDNet – Three ways to survive the rise of the cloud and ‘big software’

Applications that were once simple to manage are now rolled out across thousands of physical and virtual machines.

These sprawling applications include multiple components, with the potential points of integration spread across the enterprise and out into the wider cloud.

So, what are the key challenges CIOs will face as they overhaul their IT departments in readiness for the next stage of enterprise computing? Here are some key lessons for CIOs.

1. Build a platform for business change

Successful companies in the digital age are characterised by their ability to absorb technology into everyday processes and by ensuring there is no division between what might previously have been classed as IT and business professionals.

More of the ZDNet article from Mark Samuels


13
Jun 17

IT Business Edge – The Devops Chicken or the Agile Infrastructure Egg?

Does devops lead to agile, or does agile lead to devops? Or perhaps they move in tandem as the enterprise gropes its way through digital transition. And if that’s the case, is optimized, automated infrastructure the cause or the effect of this new IT model?

The answers to these questions could be crucial for the enterprise over the next few years because they speak directly to how technology decisions will be made. For instance, if the right infrastructure is required for devops, then what technologies are needed to deliver the appropriate outcomes? But if devops evolves naturally, then how does the enterprise foster an integrated IT environment rather than simply another collection of disjointed point solutions?

According to a recent survey by BMC Software, the top three priorities for IT investment over the next two years are containers, workload automation/scheduling and devops

More of the IT Business Edge post from Arthur Cole